Previewing Kubuntu Feisty Fawn

A few days ago I’ve downloaded the Kubuntu Feisty Fawn Herd 5 Alpha CD, whose final version will be released somewhere in April. My impressions so far:

  • The theme is a lot nicer than that of Edgy. Finally Kubuntu looks nice enough out of the box and I don’t have to switch to the simplistic but efficient Plastik style. The new icon launching effect did not impress me. Some animations were kind of slow, too.
  • I noticed a nice improvement in the sound theme. Particularly, the annoying Konsole bell sound was replaced by a pleasant and less disturbing one. I don’t have to disable those beeps anymore.

  • I’ve also seen some improvements in terms of speed (the time it takes to launch an application e.g. Kate). I have been attracted to OpenSUSE for its speed, but after seeing how much their package manager sucks (and APT rules), I decided I would not switch. Still, it is a big mystery for me how the SUSE guys manage to maintain such a snappy KDE. We should learn from them!
  • No games included by default. Is it so difficult to put in some small ones like KPat and KReversi? Or is it an official policy not to include any games? What am I supposed to do while waiting for aptitude update?
  • Pressing the PrintScreen button now starts up KSnapshot. In Edgy, it simply copies the screen image to clipboard. Small things like this make me really happy :)
  • NetworkManager is included and enabled by default (via knetworkmanager). When I saw that it also supports Static IP connections, I almost thought I could connect to my Static IP, Ad-Hoc wireless. But no luck :( I’ve found no way to connect via NM. It got stuck asking for DHCP / searching for an access point. After about an hour of trying, I gave up, killed NetworkManager, manually edited /etc/network/interfaces and ifup-ed wlan0. It worked, of course, but I would have expected more flexibility out of NetworkManager. In the Gnome screenshot, I can see the Create New Wireless Network button, which I’ve read does exactly what I want, but where is it in KDE?!?! I can’t help thinking that the Ubuntu guys focus so much on Gnome, and so little on KDE :cry:
  • Firefox is not included by default. I use Konqueror myself, but I believe many new-comers will not like Firefox missing.
  • ugly-ffox.pngThe GTK styles have issues. Look at this screenshot. What are all those ugly black thick lines separating the parts of the window?
  • I would like to see nicer defaults for Firefox. Clicking on a .torrent file, for example, should offer to open KTorrent, and not just save the file to disk.
  • Basket 1.0 is a beauty. Too bad it’s not included by default.
  • edited-compress-as-what.pngThere seem to be some issues with the translations. Check the screenshot. What’s that? I don’t remember choosing something except English anywhere.
  • There is still no way to set the mouse acceleration to less than 1.0 from the KDE Control Center / System Settings / whatever. This is a known KDE bug. I had to xset m 7/10 from Konsole.
  • For some weird reason, whenever I tried to shut down / reboot Feisty, it locked up after shutting down X. I have no idea why this happens, but I suppose it’ll be fine when installed on the hard disk.

Hopefully, most of these issues will be sorted out until the final release. Good job, Kubuntu people! If you can’t wait, you can download the Preview (Alpha) ISO image from here (better look for a mirror closer to you). LQ has some screenshots.

2 Responses to Previewing Kubuntu Feisty Fawn

  1. Alex says:

    Just asking, how often do you change your computer’s OS? (re-install, restore from an image, switch to another OS, etc)

  2. Constantin says:

    I have used Ubuntu Breezy since it became available (oct 2005) and didn’t upgrade to Dapper (jun 2006). I am on Edgy since oct 2006 and I think I won’t upgrade again until Feisty +1 (expected in oct 2007). I have also tried Mandriva LE2005 and OpenSUSE 10.2, but never actually switched to any of them. Before discovering Ubuntu I was on Debian.
    So, I upgrade about once a year, and since Ubuntu I haven’t changed distros.

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